So, dear reader, I’ve finally reached the final session of sixteen twice-weekly RéAura sessions for my face. This is probably the final regular post I shall write on this so I thought it would be a good opportunity to list my observations about the machine, the treatments and the results they have achieved so far. I must stress that everyone is different and the results achieved on my skin will not be the same as those of anyone else. I have written this account from my specific perspective as someone of 100% Indian parentage born and brought up in the UK because there seems to be so little information available to people like us about the problems we can encounter with our skin type and the effect of cosmetic treatments on them. I have spent my life learning how to care for my skin through trial and error, mainly error, and I hope that my children’s generation will not have to undergo this painful process to learn to look after their skin properly. It isn’t about vanity at all. How we look affects how we feel about ourselves and why not put one’s best foot forward?

I progressed almost immediately from treatment level 2 to level 3 and there was no discernable difference in pain or soreness associated with the higher level.

Short term effects after treatments:

  • Parts of my face were a little puffy for a few hours the morning after each treatment.
  • My face reddened, which lasted for more than 12 hours after each treatment. I assumed a ruddy look for a day or so and then my skin darkened for a few days, probably due to the “dusting,” as below. My skin has darkened overall and I look “tanned.” This might also be due to the week of warm weather we had a while ago as I have a watch mark on my wrist, but I have been assiduously using SPF on my face, so I would attribute the darkening more to the RéAura.
  • The day after each treatment, my face was covered with tiny scabs or “dusting,” which lasted two to three days. Phillips says that this is the pigment being released from the deeper layers of the skin. I don’t think I am entirely convinced about this. I could cover this dusting with tinted moisturiser and, apart from darkening my skin, I looked OK. Interestingly, the darkening has meant that I don’t need to use concealer at the moment as the skin around my eyes is lighter than the rest of my face. I look as if I have been walking around in a Mediterranean country with large sunglasses on!
  • An interesting short-term effect is that any blemishes lurking just under the surface of the skin are brought to the top where they can be, ahem, extracted.

I have used exfoliants a couple of times a week, Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant and Caudalie’s Gentle Buffing Cream to try and get rid of the dusting. To alleviate the soreness and dehydration that persists, I have used Bobbi Brown’s Extra Repair Moisturising Balm (Blimey, how much?) when needed – I already had it knocking about unnecessarily in my bathroom but I’m sure another rich moisturiser would do – but this effect has decreased as time has gone on and my skin has become used to the laser.

Longer term effects:

  • I can honestly say that the texture of my skin has become smoother and more even. This is particularly noticeable when using make-up. Any enlarged pores are starting to close but they have not as yet closed up completely.
  • I am not sure about wrinkles. Remember, the reason for my old acne scarring is my oily skin, which has meant that I do actually look younger than my age, although some lines do exist on my forehead. These have eased in width  but might have become deeper. I am noticing that my make up settles into them more than before. Perhaps this is a short term effect. The frown line between my eyebrows, however, has more or less disappeared.
  • The pigmentation on my forehead that was my main reason for buying the RéAura has eased but is still visible. This area suffered from the over-treatment a few weeks ago (see below) and I’ll be interested to see whether it fades in the coming weeks and months. It is largely for this reason that I have decided to keep treating this area weekly after my forthcoming two-week break from treatments.
  • Other old acne scarring has not completely disappeared but has become markedly less apparent. More recent scarring will be easier to eradicate, apparently.
  • Ingrown hairs have improved and the scars have faded. Not completely, but they are definitely on the right track. As I found with the horrid ingrown hairs on my legs caused by waxing (a long story for another day) the only successful treatment was the side effect of the laser used for hair removal. I am hoping that this is the case with these tenacious horrors, which developed last summer.

Conclusions:

I think I shall observe the condtion of my skin during the two weeks’ rest period. The hyper-pigmentation is still there but I feel that I shall be using the RéAura once every week to top up the effects of the first course of treatment. Hyper-pigmentation from 30 years ago is so tenacious that it probably cannot be banished in a period of 8 weeks. This is the beauty of having a home machine, if it works, as opposed to an expensive, harsh session at a clinic with drastic, though unpredictable, results. I do feel that the effects of the RéAura will be cumulative. We shall just have to wait and see and I shall report on them as I see them.

It is clear, however, that if hyper-pigmentation is so difficult to reduce with a laser, albeit a home-safe laser, it is just not going to budge with any over-the-counter cream. They are, in my opinion, not worth buying so don’t waste your money on them.

Design improvement suggestions:

Given how helpful the RéAura is at detaching below-the-surface blemishes, it would be useful to have an attachment capable of treating noses which, alas, the current laser head cannot do effectively. It would be a pity if one could henceforth tell a woman’s age from the condition of her nose.

I was really alarmed at my RéAura experience in that warm week, when it over-heated and kept resetting its dosage measurement, which resulted in me over-treating my forehead. I’m not sure it has recovered yet. It is very small as foreheads go and received a huge over-treatment. Let us hope that the dusting and the darkness fade evenly to unpigmented skin in the next few weeks. But honestly Phillips, this was Beckenham in March! If your machine overheated then, goodness knows how it will perform in Houston in August or Delhi in May. Presumably these are also target markets? If so, the design must be adjusted so that the machine does not overheat so easily.

It would be useful if Phillips could make clear in their marketing that they have actually tested the machine on people of various different ethnicities and skin types. This sort of information should be more readily available to people who are deciding whether or not to part with £800 for the RéAura. This only came to light in my long conversation with Keira, the skincare representative. It’s my whole reason for doing these posts: that there is such scant information available on products for people with non-white skins.

So, that’s not completely the end. I shall keep posting intermittently as I see a longer-term improvement (or not) in my skin texture and tone. I hope that so far all that I have written has been helpful to the surprising amount of people worldwide who have searched for and seem to have read these RéAura posts. I do hope Phillips are grateful for all the free publicity for them and their machine.

*RéAura posts are not sponsored in any way by Phillips or any of the other manufacturers of skincare products mentioned on them. If only. But this does mean that I can write truly independent opinions, unfettered and unmindful of any sponsor*

©MsAlliance April 2012